National Trust Christmas

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Percy the park keeper

As well as Christmas at Mallards, the National Trust has organised Christmas events at its other properties near Rye.

Bateman’s, Burwash

See the hall decked in traditional snowy white, complete with foliage collected from the estate. Look out for a Christmas tree adorned with decorations inspired by May Morris’ “The Orange Tree” embroidery in the parlour. There will be orange-themed decorations inspired by visitors’ own needlework too; discover more about the embroidery and other treasures from the collection in a special display.

Families will love the outdoor Percy the park keeper trail at Rudyard Kipling’s family home, with welly hoopla in the field next to the garden. Look out for Percy’s special cart, and his personal touch on the snowy-white Christmas tree indoors.

The Mulberry tearoom is stocked with hot chocolate and festive treats.

  • Percy the park keeper trail December 4 to January 3, £2 per trail, normal admission applies
  • Rooms decorated November 27 to January 3, normal admission applies

Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst

The ground floor of the mansion will be decorated for Christmas Eve in the early 1900s, after guests have left the annual Scotney ball. Christmas trees glisten and presents lay unopened, as the family settle down for the night in preparation for more celebrations tomorrow.

Outdoors, a new trail all about Percy the park keeper will keep the little ones entertained. Giant welly hoopla will test the mettle of players big and small. Or head to the wheelbarrow station for more Percy-inspired fun.

Admire the twinkly tree in the main courtyard, and pop by the tea-room filled with seasonal treats and three-course festive lunches.

For those that are welly-ready, there’s plenty of wintery walks to enjoy across the estate.

  • Percy the park keeper trail December 4 to January 3, £2 per trail, normal admission applies
  • Decorated rooms November 27 to January 3, normal admission applies
  • Festive lunches November 29 to December 22 (weekdays only), three courses £25.95, must be booked in advance

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Cranbrook

The annual festive market is back, with local food, drink, crafts and produce along with live entertainment over the weekend.

See the library and South Cottage dressed with atmospheric scenes evoking Vita and Harold’s peaceful winters spent reading, writing and making plans for their garden, with poetry readings in the library too. Learn more about Vita and Harold’s present giving during the festive period, then hang your very own note on the Sissinghurst Christmas giving tree about what you’re gifting this Christmas.

Outdoors for the festive season, there’s gardener question time and wildlife bingo for families. There’s festive dishes with homegrown vegetables throughout December in the Granary Restaurant too.

Meanwhile Percy the park keeper will be coming to Sissinghurst after Christmas, with a wintery trail throughout January.

  • Mini market November 27 and 28, free with normal admission
  • Decorated rooms from November 1, free with normal admission
  • Percy the park keeper trail January 4-30, £2 per trail plus normal admission applies

Bodiam Castle, near Robertsbridge

Climb aboard the festive Christmas sleigh in the castle courtyard, and snap a festive photo. Look out for winter characters including Father Christmas, Mother Christmas or elves wandering the courtyard or seated on thrones.

The Wharf tea-room has warming hot chocolate and festive treats, and the shop is open for Christmas gifts.

  • Christmas sleigh December 1 to January 3, free with normal admission
  • Winter characters on selected days December 4-23, free with normal admission
  • Please note: in 2021 Bodiam Castle is not running a bookable Father Christmas event

Source: National Trust press release

Image Credits: Nick Butterworth .

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